After a tumultuous year of embarrassing publicity surrounding her controversial departure, NBC News announced Ann Curry will return to the air waves with a prime time special.
From the NBC News press release:
In an Ann Curry Report: A Face in the Crowd airing Friday, June 28 at 10p/9c, Ann Curry tells the remarkable story of courage, faith, improbable decisions, and an extraordinary transformation.
When he was 22 years old, Richard Norris suffered an accidental shotgun blast into his face that left him extremely disfigured. After living for 15 years as a recluse, Norris chose to risk a groundbreaking face transplant surgery with the hope that he and others like him, including America’s wounded warriors, would benefit. For the first time, viewers will hear from Norris in his own words, the donor’s parents, and the physician who made medical history.
When Norris first met Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez at Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center, the Department of Defense was funding research to treat severe injuries in troops returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Luckily for Norris, some of that funding made its way to Dr. Rodriguez and would pay for his face transplant. In return for the chance to get his life back, Norris was prepared to risk his life, hoping wounded warriors might benefit from any knowledge gained from his transplant surgery.
Curry’s ugly departure from the “Today” show badly tarnished co-host Matt Lauer’s image as he was seen as the instigator behind the ouster. As The Huffington Post puts it:
One year later, NBC News is still dealing with the fallout of Curry’s departure. Co-host Matt Lauer — who many viewers see as the hand behind Curry’s exit — is still battling negative media reports, and once joked that he is less popular than polio. Meanwhile, the show — which ended its sixteen-year streak as the country’s number one morning show last spring when Curry was still co-host — has fallen to second place to “Good Morning America.”